Harp Shoes for Guys

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    duckspeaks on #194322

    Dear harpists,

    I am new to pedals and have been experimenting with different shoes, sole insert combinations. I have small feet, short thighs and legs, as evident while selecting sofas because mosts sofas are too deep for me. With repeated experimentations, I found that I need up to 2 inches of heels to work with F sharp and double adjacent pedals.

    there are not too many choices when it comes to shoes. Are there any suggestions on brand and models of shoes?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Biagio on #194324

    Well, my friend I don’t “do” pedal but I used to dance; so I’d suggest flamenco shoes. Capezio makes several models that you might consider They are also very comfortable. As it happens, here’s one on sale:


    Best wishes,

    carl-swanson on #194325

    The shoes I use for performance are made for dance and theater. They’re like slippers, with a soft flexible sole. Heels definitely make pedaling easier, although I use a standard low heal. You might have to get a pair of dance shoes and then have a cobbler add the height heal you want.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #194329

    Flamenco shoes are a great suggestion, as they have “Cuban” height heels, and strong shanks which give you great leverage. You don’t want a suede sole on the pedals, regular leather, not fiberglass. Menkes makes beautiful suede-topped shoes, but make sure you don’t get fiberglass soles. You might want a higher heel, in which case, look at ballroom dance shoes, but ones with leather soles, not suede, if you can find them. Suede soles put the pressure on your toes when you pedal because they are so soft and flexible. You can really feel each pedal, but it’s harder to push and your foot has to be squarely centered on the pedal, no moving it with just the edge of your foot or toe. Cobblers can mess up shoes. I had a pair of loafers with the original stacked leather heel, and the cobbler ruined they when he removed the entire heel, rather than just replace the rubber sole. I think Flamenco shoes have a 1 1/2-inch heel, where a Cuban ballroom heel is two inches.

    Loonatik on #194345

    Why do heels make pedaling easier?

    duckspeaks on #194354

    Thank you guys!

    Dear Loonatik, it is for “leverage”, or raising the foot to a level that makes it easy to depress the pedals.

    balfour-knight on #194378

    Great advice, everyone! I also use my “organ” shoes, made by Capezio, which have just the right amount of heel for working the harp pedals. I am 5′ 6″ and small-framed, Duckspeaks, so I can identify with your situation. The pedals on my 85-GP 44-string L&H are a bit closer together than they are on a full-size concert grand, which I find easier to work quickly. Since I am so small, Saul, this “student” harp is absolutely perfect for me, and Tom Bell, harp tech, was amazed that this harp has such wonderful tone and projection. His exact words were “this small harp has NO RIGHT to sound this great!” She is a special harp, to be sure, carefully selected by me from a room full of pedal harps!

    Duckspeaks, I didn’t mean to “hijack” your thread in defense of a small pedal harp, ha, ha!

    Best wishes to all of you,

    duckspeaks on #194382

    Dear Balfour,

    I think we are very similar except that I think in centimenters! My harp is like 176cm and I didn’t feel comfortable trying a full sized harp. Still doing minor adjustments on chair height etc. Increasingly the sole insert trick almost accomplishes the job, but the shoes are almost not walkable with so much stuffings inside. This morning I suddenly had a “Ive got it” moment to the adjustments and will keep refining…..


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